New releases: November 2016 – memoir & autobiography

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For this last Wednesday of November I thought I’d go a little beyond my comfort zone and check out Goodreads’ top 5 of new memoirs & autobiographies. I don’t read this genre often, only when the person really interests me, so I’m quite happy that the first two are books I’d read. But which ones will end up on my to read list?

  1. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
    Publication date: November 15th 2016
    A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect. Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candour and winningly wry observations. With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can. 
  2. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham
    Publication date: November 29th 2016
    In her first work of nonfiction, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls—the first and second time—and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood. “This book contains some stories from my life: the awkward growing up years, the confusing dating years, the fulfilling working years, and what it was like to be asked to play one of my favourite characters again. I’m talking about Lorelai Gilmore, who, back in 2008, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again. Also included: tales of living on a houseboat, meeting guys at awards shows, and that time I was asked to be a butt model. A hint: all three made me seasick.”—Lauren Graham
  3. Tippi: A Memoir by Tippi Hedren
    Publication date: November 1st 2016
    In this absorbing and surprising memoir, one of the biggest names of classic Hollywood tells her story, including never-before-revealed experiences on the set of some of the biggest cult films of all time. For decades, Tippi Hedren’s luminous beauty radiated from the silver screen. For too long Hedren’s story has been told by others through whispered gossip and tabloid headlines. Now, Hedren sets the record straight, recalling how a young girl from Minnesota became a worldwide legend. For the first time, Hedren digs deep into her complicated relationship with the man who discovered her talent, director Alfred Hitchcock, the benefactor who would become a repulsive and controlling director who contractually controlled her every move. Hedren’s incandescent spirit shines through as she talks about working with the great Charlie Chaplin, sharing the screen with some of the most esteemed actors in Hollywood, and more.
  4. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
    Publication date: November 15th 2016
    The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Trevor Noah’s unlikely path began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure. The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humour and a mother s unconventional, unconditional love. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist.
  5. The Elephants in My Backyard: A Memoir by Rajiv Surendra
    Publication date: November 8th 2016
    In 2003, Rajiv Surendra was filming Mean Girls, playing the beloved rapping mathlete Kevin Gnapoor, when a cameraman insisted he read Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. So begins his tale of obsessively pursuing a dream, overcoming failure, and finding meaning in life. When Rajiv learns that Life of Pi will be made into a major motion picture he is convinced that playing the title role is his destiny. In a great leap of faith Rajiv embarks on a quest to embody the sixteen-year-old Tamil schoolboy: learning how to dream big, to fail, to survive, to love, and to become who he truly is. Rajiv Surendra captures the uncertainty, heartache, and joy of finding ones place in the world with sly humour and refreshing honesty. The Elephants in My Backyard is a story of process and determination. It is a spellbinding and profound book for anyone who has ever failed at something and had to find a new path through life.

I have put the first book by Anna Kendrick on my to read list. I really like her work as an actress and she seems genuine, funny and like an actual real human being in all of the interviews I’ve seen of her. I’d love to read more about her life, especially in her own comedic voice. The story of Lauren Graham also interested me, but I mainly like her as Lorelai from Gilmore Girls, I have no idea who she as a person is. If this was completely centred on the show and how, through crowdfunding and popular demand, it was able to make a comeback after so many years – now that I would read!

How about you? Anything tickle your fancy? Let me know! As per usual, other new releases of November 2016 can be found by genre right here on Goodreads.

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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